Balanced Fitness

Marine Style Physical Fitness Competition - Pu...

Fairly Short one today folks.  Ok, i’m going to throw out some stereotypes here.

-Meathead who is bulky but has no endurance or stamina

-Skinny marathon girl who does endless cardio and not much else

-Person who plays a sport and thinks it’s the only conditioning they need

What do all of these have in common?  They have unbalanced fitness programs.  People think; oh if i can bench press 300 pounds I’m fit.  If i can run 5 miles straight I’m fit.  That is not how it works.  What people are doing is spending all their time maximizing a single area of fitness.  This is unhealthy, and will unbalance you in some other area of your life as well.  There has to be a principle somewhere.  Balance in one area tends to lead to balance in others.  Vice versa holds true also.  I like Crossfits definitions of fitness.  These include 10 different factors or skills.  This is direct from them.

1. Cardiovascular/Respiratory Endurance- The ability of the body systems to gather, process, and transport oxygen.2. Stamina- The ability of the body to process, store, deliver, and utilize energy.

3. Strength- The ability of a muscular unit, or combo of muscular units to apply force.

4. Flexibility- The ability of maximizing range of motion at a given joint.

5. Power- The ability of a muscular unit, or combo of muscular units to apply maximum force in minimum time.

6. Speed- The ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement.

7. Coordination- The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singular distinct movement.

8. Agility- The ability to minimize transition time between one movement pattern to another.

9. Accuracy- The ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity.

10. Balance- The ability to control the placement of the bodies’ center of gravity in relation to its’ support base.

So how many of us actually work on all of these skills?  Obviously if you are in a sport or competition you will need to focus on whatever it is you are competing in, however for most of us I believe it is a lot more practical to work on creating a balanced program.  So how do we do that?  We basically just need to mix it up like everything else in life.  We fall into routines and get stuck in a rut.  So a good program might include bodyweight training, calisthenics, stretching, yoga, different sports, sprinting, functional cardio, biking, kayaking, whatever.  The list is endless.  The point is: you should not be doing the same workout day after day after day.  Your body likes to be challenged in different ways.  So get out of that routine and mix it up.

-Joe

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